Are you a chronic allergy sufferer? This year, you can find relief for your allergy symptoms with a visit to Dr. Christine Franzese, an ENT allergy specialist in Hampton Roads. If you’re planning to visit an allergist, the first step to a successful treatment plan is to be sure your doctor has all the information he or she needs to treat your allergies effectively.
Use these 7 strategies before, during, and after all your allergy doctor visits to get the most effective diagnosis and treatment:
- Keep a detailed journal of your symptoms and share the information with your doctor. Compare this list of common allergy symptoms to your own.
- Prepare a written list of questions before each doctor appointment. Oftentimes patients can get distracted or lose their train of thought once they’re finally in the room with the physician. Bringing along some notes will help you stay on track and cover all your concerns.
- Learn everything you can about the different kinds of allergy medications and their side effects, including antihistamines, decongestants, saline drops, and corticosteroid nasal sprays. It’s good to do some independent research on the latest allergy treatment options. Ask your doctor about these common allergy medications; he or she will tell you what works for your particular situation.
- Tell your doctor which medications you currently take (and have taken in the past) and how well they work. Report any side effects, and include in your discussion the doses and time of day you take your meds.
- Be honest if you’re inconsistent about taking your meds, or if you frequently switch from one allergy medication to another – that’s important information for them to consider. Ask your doctor how long you should stick to a particular treatment before deciding it is — or isn’t — working for you.
- Ask about other treatment options. New things are always coming out, like immunotherapy (allergy shots), allergy drops, trigger-avoidance strategies, alternative therapies, and self-care techniques. Your physician may be able to recommend more options than you knew existed.
- Inquire about allergy testing (or retesting). An allergy test can more accurately pinpoint your triggers and to help your doctor determine the appropriate medication.
Once your allergist tailors a new regimen for you, follow it to the letter and maintain your symptom diary. If, after a time, the new plan isn’t working, ask your doctor to adjust it again. It may take a bit of trial and error before you find the right combination of medication, self-care, and trigger-avoidance strategies to fully relieve your allergy symptoms, but it is possible to live a healthy, active life through allergy season!
If you’re interested in learning more about allergy and sinus treatment options from Dr. Franzese and her team of specialists please call her office directly at (757) 889-5632.
About Dr. Franzese
Christine Franzese, MD, FAAOA, is a board certified otolaryngologist. She completed a residency in Otolaryngology at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. Franzese’s specialties include: allergies and allergy shots, sinus problems (acute and chronic), mild asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid masses or nodules, salivary gland disorders and nodules, and pediatric ENT issues (ear infections, tonsillitis). She has surgical expertise with removing tonsils and adenoids, thyroidectomies, parathyroidectomies, parotidectomies, and has extensive experience with sinus surgeries. She offers functional endoscopic sinus surgery, image-guided sinus surgery, and balloon sinuplasty procedures.